This week Graeme reflected on the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, celebrated officially on the 25th February but engaged with by us during our morning gathering where we shared pertinent scriptures and prayed prayers for our nation during our time of corporate worship.
Graeme shared from his heart, a concern that he believes is causing a malaise across the church in Australia and is a prophetic message that he believes that our church has a responsibility to represent, work towards fulfilling in our own backyard and sharing with other brothers and sisters at appropriate times and in appropriate ways.
He asked for us to join together with him on a journey of mutual accountability as we speak boldly about things which have played a significant role in preventing neighbourhood Australians from seeing the truth of Jesus Christ; that attested stats clearly indicate that something is wrong with the way Jesus is portrayed in this country and it is way past time that we accept a ‘missionary’ responsibility throughout our own country.
We will reflect together in more detail as this year unfolds on the detail in God’s revealed plan for us to learn how to conduct and practice having ‘kingdom conversations’ with those God has given each and every one of us favour to build Christ-like relationships with. More soon …
Graeme then shared some initial things that Jesus has revealed about prayer. He started this by reading Luke 22:39-46. We have learnt in recent weeks that being incarnational means ‘Being present, IN love; WITHOUT judgement as Jesus was. So, Graeme firstly suggested in light of this that ‘prayer’ was the language of ‘the divine dance’, the language of heaven and that as such, like any language, it wasn’t just about words but how those words are received and engaged with. It is intimate and builds intimacy and identifies everything that the church should be to those looking in. That is, this prayer language is inclusive and indiscriminately redemptive. The closer a relationship gets the more honesty it expresses and the greater vulnerability it fosters or nurtures. On the surface these things have been associated with weakness but IN Christ they are strengths that can draw people into the FULLNESS of God.
Secondly that Jesus was ALWAYS seeking the ABSOLUTE BEST for OTHERS. Whether it is seeking well-being or healing or empowerment for someone else, the definition of prayer is Jesus himself. If there is ‘intercessory’ prayer, it is understanding that Jesus FILLS the gap between the purpose of God and the need of the person. When we pray for people, we don’t wave a magic wand but we impart Jesus to them that they might receive ‘life in exceeding abundance’ for that is what Jesus brings.
Spend some time this week doing a word study on prayer. Look up ‘prayer’ or ‘pray’ in the New Testament gospels and see what you hear from Jesus about ‘prayer’. Reflect and journal revelations you receive and to help this process, when the tool you are using (bible gateway or a concordance etc.) gives you a verse that has pray or prayer in it; read a little of the context around the verse and see if that brings greater clarity. Practice some of the revelations you receive if you can and share with someone if you get a chance.
Extra Individual Response or Group Questions
- Read the account in Luke 22: 39-46. What do you think this passage indicates about prayer and relationships? Read the next few verses to verse 51. Does anything else jump out for you? Discuss
- What did you think about Graeme’s statement, ‘Prayer is the language of heaven.’ Have you ever heard this idea before? If yes, does it ring true? How did/do you respond? If no, does this description help you understand prayer with any more clarity? Why? Why not?
- ‘The definition of prayer is Jesus himself. If there is ‘intercessory’ prayer, it is understanding that Jesus FILLS the gap between the purpose of God and the need of the person.’ How might this revelation help you in your prayer life. Pray, reflect, journal and make a commitment with someone you trust to have a go at this and share outcomes, struggles, any breakthroughs.
Fill your own reading list for future reflection from your word study